January 7 - When Waiting Gets Long

Devotional Scripture: Genesis 16:1-4

Central Thought: Taking matters into our own hands can really make matters worse.

    Learning to wait on God to come through can be tough and sometimes frustrating. Abram and his wife, Sarai, discovered this. God had made some wonderful promises to them and their descendents. But they had one big problem—they were childless; they had no descendants.

    They waited, and they waited. After nothing seemed to change, they tried to 'help” God accomplish His will. Genesis 16:1-4 presents the focal point of their plan. Their efforts to help God created a family struggle that continues to this day in the Holy Land region.

    Abram and Sarai's account provides some valuable lessons for today. First, we should not get ahead of God, regardless of how long He chooses to wait to bring His perfect plan and will to pass. When we do, we always mess things up. Next, we need to learn that God has a time frame of His own, and He operates within that schedule. Chances are, it will be different from ours. We may get anxious waiting, but we can be sure He always does what He says at the right time. As someone once said, 'God is never late, although He may miss some wonderful opportunities to be early.” Finally, we need to remember that faith waits regardless of circumstances. Even if there is no hint of any change in circumstances, faith still believes. Faith's most difficult moment is often the last half hour of our wait.

    When the waiting gets long, remember that God's schedule is almost always different from ours. Keep matters in God's hands, because taking them into our own usually makes matters worse.

Devotional Prayer: Oh, God, when the waiting gets long, help me to remember that you have never been late yet.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 16: 1-18:19; Matthew: 6:1-24; Psalm 7:1-17; Proverbs 2:1-5